Here’s a cool idea. Everyone in the school; students, teachers, principal, cafeteria workers, librarian, custodian, bus drivers, and parents–everyone reads the same book. That way no one has to ask, “Did you read…” because they had.
Everyone could be part of the discussion and activities pertaining to the book. It would be what everyone is talking about. Much like the way popular movies and TV shows, and yes, cute kitten videos on YouTube, create a social currency so would a book everyone has read, except books create deeper and more meaningful connections as they are more complex and richer in detail and subtleties.
A group of authors are facilitating the community read, called Share Our Books. They and their publishers have made available 250-300 books for six weeks to for a school to read, and then the school sends them on to the next school, replacing any lost or damaged books.
So far, Sara Pennypacker, Fred Bowen, Kate DiCamillo, Barbara O’Connor, Jewell Parker Rhodes (an ASU professor) and Uma Krishnaswami have signed on to Share Our Books.